“Oozing intellect, iconoclasm and great tunes – meet Furrowed Brow, Manchester’s glorious antidote to boring ladrock” – New Sounds Magazine
MEET FURROWED BROW
With anxiety, frustration and confusion etched into their very name, Furrowed Brow don’t know the meaning of fitting in. Since forming in Manchester in 2019, they’ve become well known(some might say notorious) across the North West of England for their fiercely unconventional sound and unruly, irreverent shows – droll, playful, subversive, sexy and intelligent – before the pandemic said goodbye to all that. Authentic and uncompromising, they find themselves totally out of sync with everybody and everything, part of no scene and unapologetically underground.
Musically, Furrowed Brow are up-tempo, glamorous and punky with yelping backing vocals and wry,meaningful lyrics that ridicule the duplicity and self-righteousness pervasive in today’s society. Tedious, mawkish love songs are dismissed with scoffing contempt – only irresistibly catchy and thought-provoking post-punk go-go weirdness will do.
Think The Fall meets The Divine Comedy, The Magnetic Fields processed through Larkin and Dostoyevsky, The Modern Lovers with intellect, or Violent Femmes with tits.
Their latest offering, “Punctual Punk,” is actually something of a reprieve from the intricate,idiosyncratic defiance of the band’s recordings that are already available on Spotify. They’ve been pretty busy, having issued six songs in just nine months. This has ranged from
EP “Dead Dead Dead Still Digging” to single “Pissing Superfluous” – the latter of which is an expletive-strewn art statement of intent with absolutely zero chance of airplay. To them it matters not; they are not hereto conform or to entertain.
Approval is not required, and they won’t compromise for commercial concerns. In the currentclimate of polished, cynical professionalism where bands obsess over “building their brand,”“maintaining an online presence,” and “coordinating a product marketing strategy,” wilful integrity and artistic pig-headedness of this degree are rare and beautiful virtues. You won’t find any merchandise on Furrowed Brow’s Bandcamp because they have nothing to sell – except their music. With so much artifice and mediocrity lurking around every corner the world needs bands like thisnow more than ever. No one is safe!
Enter Richey: singer, archaeologist, perfumed ponce and anti-hero, and the human residue of years in the wilderness banging his head against walls of icy indifference while listening to enough Morrissey and The Smiths to kill a horse. Little escapes his scrutiny though his eyes be oftennarrowed, and his acerbic, sardonic songwriting forms the backbone of the band. His lyrics exude a devil-may-care impudence, rarely earnest but often contemptuous of the hypocrisies and disingenuousness of contemporary life. Richey’s love of the tragic blended with humour reflects his influences, among them Julian Cope & The Teardrop Explodes, Magazine, Pulp, Mansun, The Damned,The Kinks, Television Personalities, Half Man Half Biscuit, The Soft Boys, Go-Kart Mozart, Patrick Hamilton, Ivan Turgenev, Kafka, Oscar Wilde, and Knut Hamsun.
The rest of the group brings the raucous energy required to drag these perfectly crafted visions of dark genius from the sullen cave of Richey’s mind and, feet stamping, parade them into the world with gleeful fanfare. Alex, main handler and artistic foil, adds Dr. Who wails, distorted solos, and queer flourishes on keyboard and synth – along with always enthusiastic, tuneful backing vocals. Adorable lead guitarist Meg brings refreshing notes of cuteness and innocence, whilst slamming your ears with spiky riffs. Bassist Evie is the resident painter, costumier, dominatrix, and also the newest member of the band, contributing a mysterious blend of shuddering bass and sweet, sexy harmonies. And (literally) stand-up drummer Criostoir keeps everyone marching along with his affable humour and stomping glam rhythms.
Furrowed Brow are not afraid to make fun of themselves, each other and you. They love to provoke an audience and their shows and recorded output induce excitement and amusement in equal measure,simultaneously raising hackles, heckles, and cackles. They ooze gothic archness and a nihilistic impertinence.
But,the counterpart of nihilism is always hedonism: playfulness and frivolity,experimentation, pretension, contradiction, extravagance, and glamour.
Or, in the words of the band…
“We evoke the absent Negative – the unspoken and unthought always at hand; the unavoidable avoided. The Negative is gloomy, dispiriting, sometimes heartbreakingly so, but it’s omnipresent, –instantly recognisable and real. There is no “good” or “bad” — only truth. Our songs confront the jeering absurdity of human existence head on. Too often we’re bedevilled by the empty platitudes of “love and light,” like donkeys feeding on roses of illusion, of fine ideals reduced to the lowest common denominators: vanity and spurious cheerfulness. Nobody ever feels the better for it. Were present positivity through negativity.”
PEOPLE HAVE SAID…
“A band as intelligent as they are appreciative in comedy while they analyze the humancondition in a cleverly satirical way instead of waving their fingers at us. They’re classy, butnot afraid to rough us up a bit, and that’s a juxtaposition you don’t usually see incontemporary music. I’m excited, but I also feel a little insulted, and I love it” – Melt Reviews
“Something fucking wonderful. It’s the sound of a band who basically care not one jot for whatis fashionable. I’m not entirely sure they care what the listening public thinks of what they do.They just do what they do, what they like, and leave for us to decide whether we like it. I loveit … There is so much variation – mutant art-rock, mutant indie (I kid you not) – but it all comes with that Furrowed Brow thing” – Local Sound Focus
“The antidote to blokey, white-bread guitar rock – the Anti-Sherlocks”– New Sounds Magazine
“Quirky, upbeat, shambolic, nonchalant , irreverent, brilliant … this band catapulted mebackward to 1977 / 1978 when everything was possible and there were no rules when the swagger of punk had cooled replaced with inventive, no rules new noise”– Paul Travis, A1MRecords
“Dystopian stripped back post punk that captures the spirit of The Fall’s chaotic legacy perfectly … they are shambolic, eccentric and are gleefully doing things very much on their own terms”– The Punk Site
“Fools who came to scoff remained to pray” – Oliver Goldsmith
Richey – Vocals (He/Him)
Alex – Keys/Synth/Vocals (She/Her)
Evie – Bass/Vocals (They/Them)
Meg – Guitar (She/Her)
Criostoir – Drums (He/Him)